On Clergy, NYFD, Bloomberg Not Budging

A couple of weeks ago, I noted that Mayor Mike Bloomberg was inviting neither clergy nor First Responders to the 9/11 Memorial service in NYC.I thought public outcry might move the mule, but without any push from mainstream media, he is comfortably sticking to his guns. No clergy, no prayer, and there's no room for the First Responders, either. Only a few will be there, by special invitation.Making the point that the first recorded death at the WTC was Franciscan Father Mychal Judge, … [Read more...]

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Sacramental Joy of the Priesthood and of Vows

Via New Advent, Msgr. Charles Pope gives a glimpse of the joy he finds in his priesthood, particularly in conferring sacraments among the faithful -- worshiping with them, communing with them, receiving them, anointing them. It is a look at one day in his life, an atypical one, surely, which also happened to include his own birthday celebration. His pleasure in all of it, his gratitude for the ability to confer these sacramental gifts, is evident in every word as he describes a day that brought … [Read more...]

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Barron on Of Gods and Men

I wrote about the film here, and in the comments Manny pointed out that Fr. Robert Barron had written about the film and also talked about it in video.Well, a weekend after seeing the film, I am still haunted by its beauty and challenge.Barron, like me, is impressed with Brother Luc's statement that he is "a free man." And yeah, it's all about detachment -- the discipline that frees us. … [Read more...]

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Face-Palm to Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese

Oy.Deacon Greg has an an update to the Kansas City-St. Joseph story that seems to be a triumph of naivete and just not getting it:The sad story of the troubles in Kansas City has taken a new twist:The Catholic official who oversees sex abuse complaints against priests in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, has himself been accused of past sexual improprieties.You can read it all there. A friend of mine was quick to email about this story, and this writer:Judy Thomas has had that … [Read more...]

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The Deep Waters and Gay Marriage

I rarely recommend subscribing to RSS feeds, because I know what it's like to get enough email, but I am going to urge you to subscribe to Theologian (and Patheos columnist) Tim Muldoon -- at least over the summer -- as he continues to plumb the theological depths in consideration of gay marriage.He started out wondering if Christianity was having a Gamaliel moment on the matter.This week, he thinks about what does true violence to the spirit, and whether "facsimiles of love" play into … [Read more...]

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Bishop Finn: Epic Fail and Fallout

By all accounts, Bishop Robert Finn is a very good man, but it seems he is a very good man who made a very big -- huge; astounding -- mistake:Creepy is one thing. The question remained: was [Father Shawn] Ratigan's behavior criminal? Based on the evidence available at the time, nobody could have said in good conscience that it was. [. . .] Julie Hess, St. Patrick's principal, was able to fuse a mosaic of apparent non-events into a coherent picture of pathology. In May of 2010, she reproduced … [Read more...]

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Dallas: Better for Priests than for Kennedy?

Hey, gang. My name's Max Lindenman, and I'll be your Anchoress today. Elizabeth, your regularly scheduled Anchoress, is down for the count. I have taken it upon myself to play her Yiddishe mama, and beg her to see a doctor. She has promised she will.I told her, "Someday you should have an editor who gives you tsuris like you're giving me!"Anyway, moving right along...Teasing out all the implications of the Dallas Charter is going to take a lot longer than anyone would like. The terms … [Read more...]

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Real Lessons from a Fake SEAL

A SEAL trident is the military equivalent of a diploma from Yale and a tap from Skull and Bones. It should come as no surprise that the occasional mediocrity claims, falsely, to have earned one. That some of these fakes happen to be clergymen also sounds like a fair enough proposition -- priests and preachers are supposed to have a gift for gab; who can predict where that gabbing might lead?But when a Christian Bible Fellowship pastor named Jim Moats told his tale of stolen valor -- which, … [Read more...]

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The Lame Entering First

Today, on the Deacon's Bench, Deacon Greg Kandra shares the story of Christopher Klusman, a Milwaukee seminarian who is, in his own words, "Deaf with a capital D".From the oringal Catholic Herald article:I told children and other people that if you put your heart into it, you can be anybody you want to be, but for some weird reason, I saw that I could become anybody, any job except being a priest,” he said.That was until his UW-Madison college friends introduced him to Msgr. Glenn Nelson, t … [Read more...]

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The Gates of Hell are Rattling…

My column at First Things this week looks at the aphorism that "those who can't do teach," and wonders what lessons have been learned from those bishops of ours who did not know how to do their jobs:If “those who can’t do teach,” then a few of our teacher-bishops imparted some profoundly important lessons to us over the past six weeks. The shocking story of Belgium’s Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, and his stomach-turning delusions about what constitutes love and “moments” between an adult and a child … [Read more...]

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